'Rise of the Tomb Raider' on for PC and PS4 after Xbox debut
Lara Croft's latest adventure will be on Xbox One this year, and then Windows PC and PlayStation 4 in 2016.
A publishing deal with Microsoft Studios had looked like it would lock down "Rise of the Tomb Raider" as an Xbox One exclusive.
Its predecessor, a rebooted "Tomb Raider" for 2013 was a hit with reviewers and the general public, serving as an origin story for the 20-year-old video game icon and an opportunity to recast her as a capable and, finally, somewhat realistically proportioned young explorer.
Arriving first on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC in March 2013, with a Mac edition that followed in January 2014, it then stepped over to the most recent console generation in January 2014 with versions for PS4 and XBO.
So it was with some consternation that fans heard of Microsoft plans to publish immediate sequel, "Rise of the Tomb Raider," as an Xbox One exclusive.
With its predecessor so well received across multiple platforms, why restrict the sequel's audience or attempt to funnel it into Xbox One ownership, many protested.
At the same time, with "Tomb Raider" not utterly dissimilar from the PlayStation's "Uncharted" franchise -- daring adventurer in search of lost treasures, stunning panoramas, third-person action thrills -- it could be perceived as a smart business move, increasing the Xbox One's allure with "Uncharted 4" looming.
But probing questions about the exact nature of such exclusivity were never satisfactorily answered; Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, would say no more than that it was "for a duration."
Now, Crystal Dynamics parent Square Enix has put an end to the uncertainty, confirming release plans for Windows PC and PlayStation 4.
Microsoft Studios will still be handling the November 10 Xbox 360 and Xbox One releases, while Square Enix will publish on Windows PC in early 2016 and then PlayStation 4 during the last three months of 2016.
The PC release is detailed as arriving "for Windows 10 and Steam," a heads-up that Microsoft will be making the most of an app store built in to the next iteration of its PC operating system, which begins deployment this July 29.
The tech giant's publishing arm already has ownership of "Minecraft," which will receive a "Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta" offering cross-platform multiplayer between PC and mobile; "Fable Legends" is also set for cross-platform compatibility between Windows 10 and Xbox One, while "Candy Crush Saga" will be bundled with the OS.